It's Christmas Eve as I write this post. Today and tomorrow are busy days for pastors.
While many others get a break tonight and tomorrow, pastors like me are hard at work.
We’re preparing for Christmas Eve Candlelight services, Midnight Masses and Christmas Day celebrations.
While others wrap last-minute gifts, travel to grandma’s house and come to church for a much-needed reminder of the reason for all this fuss, we’re hard at work making sure their church experience is everything it should be.
Then we get ready to do it all again on Sunday.
It’s not that I’m complaining. I love every minute of it.
But I wanted to acknowledge this reality for one simple reason.
To say ‘thank you.’
For Those Who Work So Others Don't Have To
Thank you to all the pastors and staff who work extra hard to serve a bigger crowd than usual. And to those who work just as hard for a smaller crowd than expected.
Thank you to every volunteer who prepares, greets people, serves others and cleans up when everyone else is gone.
Thank you to all the worship teams and choir members who have been practicing for weeks, maybe months.
Thank you to the nursery volunteers who may not even get to experience a Christmas service for themselves, so parents can.
Thank you to all the hospital workers, law enforcement, military and firefighters who watch over us, because the world's problems don’t take a break for the holidays.
Thank you to everyone who’s cooking, baking and otherwise preparing their homes for everyone else to enjoy.
Thank you to all the plumbers, electricians and other service personnel who will work overtime this weekend, responding to last-minute emergencies so others can have their pipes unclogged, heaters repaired and electricity restored so celebrations can continue.
To all of you and so many others that I don’t have the space to mention. If you’re working on Christmas so others can celebrate, relax and remember, we thank you.
Take Time to Celebrate
Now, one more thing.
After all the busyness is over, please take some time to slow down.
Pastors, don’t spend so much time and energy reminding others that Jesus is the reason for the season that you forget to relax, enjoy and celebrate God's gifts in your own life.
Cooks, hosts, service personnel and emergency workers, when the rush has passed, take a well-deserved rest. Kick back and enjoy some down-time with friends and family. Pause to reflect on your faith and renew your soul and spirit.
Even if others forget to say ‘thank you’, please note that I wrote this article and someone forwarded it to you because we are grateful for all you do.
You took one of the best days of the year and made it even better.
Now go take a nap. You've earned it.
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